Last Minute Break in the Netherlands: Bruinisse, Zeeland

by farrah on June 3, 2014 · 9 comments

We just got back from a holiday in the Netherlands. I realized early last week that not only were my kids off of school Thursday and Friday- but also my husband was off too. How I miss these things is beyond me, so Monday night we fired up the search engines looking for a place to go. The goals were simple: somewhere close (but felt far), budget friendly and most importantly- a place where we could all enjoy. We came up with the town of Bruinisse in the Zeeland area of the Netherlands, and it was perfect.

bruinisseSailboats off of one of the many bridges in the North Sea.


The city of Bruinisse is lovely. On the eastern coast of the Netherlands, there are many islands and harbors where nationalities of all sorts vacation. There were Belgians, Germans, many Brits as well as my beloved Dutchies all taking in the sun and sea for the holiday.

BruinisseMap courtesy of Google Maps.

It was only an hour and a half drive from our house- which perfectly fit in with our idea of a ‘getaway’ while not losing a day or two to travel. We left Wednesday afternoon and came home Sunday, not even staying that last night as we wanted to get back and get ready for school today.



I’ve mentioned many times how hotels just aren’t for us. We like to have some space and our own kitchen for cooking. My husband found a great deal at AquaDelta in Bruinisse. For around €500 we booked a three bedroom/six bed cottage in a little park about 30 minutes from the beach for 5 nights.

AquaDeltaOur family villa.

Not only was the park itself quaint and adorable, but the main draw for us was the family setting and activities for the kids. An indoor pool, mini golf, bike rentals, indoor kid play area and many other details we knew the boys would love.


Our cottage was on a canal where our neighbors fished and fed the ducks. We were located just a short walk to the centrum area which had a market, pool and restaurants. This is a private area and only the people staying here can use these facilities.

I would say that going with young kids is your best bet if you stay at AquaDelta. The under 10-year-old set can easily be entertained with all there is to do, but in my opinion your teens might become a little bored. You’re not on the beach so for them it’s not so easy to just let them go.

Tip: If you go, pay the extra €15 to stay on the water (canal). Also, look at the map of the park. Ours was number 42- and in a good location. I’d avoid the units on the outer rings, as they just don’t have that ‘gezellig‘ feeling since you’re next to the road. They have units for 2 families to share as well, so keep that in mind if you’d like to go with another family or relatives.

What to do

AquaDeltaThe pools and cafeteria at AquaDelta.

Upon arrival Wednesday, the weather was a bit cold and damp which was fine since the kids just wanted to play in the indoor area. It’s small and there is an infant play zone as well as a larger slide/climbing structure that is attached to the cafeteria which serves meals. We love going places like this where the kids can play and aren’t stuck waiting at a table for dinner!

AquaDelta has a children’s wading and slide area with a water temp of around 30 degrees celsius. I liked just sitting here, as it was warm and I had no worries about anyone going off on their own. Of course though, there’s a bigger pool with a waterside that proved to be far too tempting. At first I was a little nervous at the idea of them going on it alone- but these fish of mine had no such cares. The big pool requires children without a swim diploma to wear provided water wings- and at 3, the twins were flying down the slide in no time.

Neeltje jansThe Deltapark: Awesome ‘dry’ waterside, aquarium, outside watermark, ferry.

Friday we went to  Deltapark Neeltje Jans. It’s basically an all aquatic- themed park. Inside are different exhibits for the sea life, a huge restaurant and information on the tragic flood from the 1950s. Outside is a whale museum of sorts, water play structures and seal show. We also took a ferry and toured the harbor.

Tip: It wasn’t cheap, but there’s easily a full day of activity to be found at the Deltapark. Bring your swimsuits!

+FAIRRose garden where the craft fair was held.

Saturday we went to the +FAIR at Zeuwse Rozentuin. Held in a beautiful rose garden, we were greeted by the friendly staff and wandered around looking at the booths. I love finding handmade goods (since I clearly cannot make anything) and found a cute skirt while my husband picked out a yellow rose-bush. The kids sampled enough sausages to justify buying an entire bundle, and we went to the beach happy.


It wasn’t exactly what I consider beach weather (a bit chilly) but kids? They could care less. The sky was sunny and we staked out our spot for a picnic lunch. We had fun searching for shells and digging in the sand for the majority of the afternoon. Strand Westenschouwen wasn’t crowded, but by no means was it empty. One thing I have learned about the Dutch is that they take sunny days very seriously and get out there and enjoy them.

boatOn the ferry at the Deltapark.

So now I do the laundry and try to get everyone back into the routine. It wasn’t pretty at school drop off this morning for the twins, but life is hard. It was a great long weekend and I’m thankful for living in a place with such a diverse environment with so much to offer. It will be the end of me to say goodbye to the Netherlands someday!

More pics of the trip on Instagram @Momofthreeunder and my Facebook page.

All photos taken by me.

Nothing to disclose, this was a non-sponsored trip.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Theresa June 3, 2014 at 8:14 am

My ex grew up in Zeeland so I have many happy memories touring around all those towns. Before kids I was so anti-vacation park (cliche , I know) but now I’m all about it.

Next time you guys are looking to get away but not have to travel too far you really should check out the island of Texel. It’s just a short ferry ride from the mainland and there is so much to do there…my favourite being the seal rehabilitation centre. We went in January with another family and even that time of year we loved it. We stayed at a Landal resort (not cheap) but it had everything you could need and there are other places to stay on island but then of course not the advantage of the indoor playgrounds and “zwemparadijs”

Curious, have the twins had swimming lessons at all? Ryan is still pretty hesitant in the water (good thing)


2 farrah June 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

I would never have thought to stay in one before kids either! But yes- at this age, they’re perfect.

That sounds like a really cute place- and I think I saw a Landal resort by us too, right?

The twins are just 3.5, B started swim lessons a few months ago- and still taking them. I need the twins to start as they are crazy and L is fearless of the water which freaks me out!


3 Corinne June 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

I used to do that all the time…seems like I am always doing last minutes…oh well, they turn out fine!


4 farrah June 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Sometimes they’re even more fun too 🙂


5 Leighann June 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm

looks like an incredible place to go! I love when you introduce us to these places.


6 farrah June 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Yay, I’m glad that I can and you like learning about them 🙂


7 Caitlyn June 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Your family was lucky, I was one of the few who had to go to work on Friday! Looks like you had a lovely time – I really love Zeeland, I headed to Middelburg last year and couldn’t believe how Flemish it felt. It’s a lovely little corner of the country (which is tiny anyway).


8 farrah June 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Agree- it’s pretty fantastic. Even back in MI we had to drive a couple of hours to a big lake, and in SC we had a 3.5 hour drive to the coast. So this is kind of crazy that we moved all the way to the NL to be…close to the shore?!


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